I’ve learned thru experience that it’s easy to meet somebody socially, especially in recent months when I’ve been some sort of social butterfly in Hongkong, but it takes more to be able to call that person a ‘friend.’ As opposed to my younger days when I’d be glad to meet anybody can chat about superficial shit, these days I really make an effort to know the person and see if there’s a connection. My measurement for a friend is rather simple, if I can get along with him/her one-on-one when we’re sober, then I’d call him a friend, otherwise he’s an acquaintance. I’m not sure how this need for a real connection came about – maybe age or maybe because I don’t want to be like Ron, who was never alone but really lonely as he was unwilling to share himself.
One such case in point is Stephen whom I met one night at gay bar DYMK in Hongkong shortly after I moved there. He’s short and hot but that’s not exactly the point; Stephen is a real private guy who remains very secretive about his life – a private Facebook profile, refusing to add me, and even lying to me about where he attended graduate school. With some detective work, I was able to dig a few things up on him but I didn’t bring it up because I respect his privacy he went thru great lengths to build. Except for a quiet dinner a few weeks after our initial rendezvous, all subsequent meetings I had with took place at my apartment with minimal exchange of background and feelings. But I bumped into him last Saturday night and he looked cheerless which I discovered was due to a fight with his boyfriend, it was serious enough Stephen kicked the boyfriend out. I dolled out some relationship advice from my 12 years of experience amidst my drunken stupor, genuinely wanting him to be happy. Stephen was surprised that his fuckbuddy was so willing to help with his relationship adding “I’m really surprised this is coming from you” when I suggested that he think twice before foregoing the 2 year relationship with a guy he said he was serious about and thought it’d last. Just cuz I am shagging him doesn’t mean I want his relationship to fail, I’m good at compartamentalising.
Both of us intoxicated, I insisted dropping him off even though he lives out of the way which ended with an invite to spend the night. The least I could do was offer my company for the distressed guy when I insisted on dropping him off, the invitation was unexpected. I didn’t want to take advantage of the situation and fell asleep in each others arms after some tender moments.
I think I finally got through to the guy and offered myself if he needed any company or help. To me, friends are about helping each other and the willingness to share without judgements while being able to have fun together. As I’ve aged, I am appreciating the concept that it’s better to give, as I take pleasure in making others happy.